Archive for the 'Medicare' Category

Czepiga Daly Pope & Perri Scores Another Win for Medicaid Clients

Mar. 13th 2018

Source: https://www.czepigalaw.com/

Last month the Connecticut Supreme Court handed down a favorable decision in a case argued by attorney Carmine Perri of Czepiga Daly Pope & Perri.

Why this matters

For married couples who intend to apply for Medicaid for one of the spouses, it is now possible to protect as much of the ill spouse’s income as is necessary for the healthy spouse to remain safely in the community , even if it exceeds the Medicaid cap.

What was the situation up until now?

Due to another case brought by Czepiga Daly Pope & Perri in 2010 and decided by the Federal Court of Appeals in 2012, it became possible, in married couple situations, for substantial assets to be protected and made available to the healthy spouse by purchasing an irrevocable annuity that paid income to the healthy spouse for a fixed period of time. But the state took the position that there were severe limitations on the amount of the ill spouse’s income that could be protected for the healthy spouse.

General Medicaid rules for married couples

For married couples, there are 3 basic protections for the healthy spouse:

  1. The principal residence is an exempt asset and protected for the healthy spouse.
  2. Of all of the combined assets of the married couple, the healthy spouse is allowed to keep approximately $123,000. Assets above that are at risk but can, in certain situations, be protected by use of the annuity strategy pioneered by Czepiga Daly Pope & Perri or, if modest in amount, spent down for the benefit of the healthy spouse.
  3. The healthy spouse is allowed to keep all of his or her own income, regardless of amount, but if the healthy spouse’s income is modest, the state will allow the healthy spouse to get as much of the ill spouse’s income as is necessary to bring the healthy spouse’s income up to a certain amount, but not to more than $3,000/month in total combined income.

An example of what this all means.

For a married couple with significant assets, the main goal is to protect those significant assets that are at risk over the $123,000 maximum that the state allows. The 2012 Federal Court case and annuity strategy pioneered by Czepiga Daly Pope & Perri largely solved this problem.

But what of the couple with modest assets where one of the spouses has significant fixed income and goes to a nursing home?

Say, for example, the husband has pension and social security income of $5,000/month combined, the wife has social security of $1,200/month, and their combined assets, exclusive of the personal residence, are $200,000.

The couple’s standard of living is reliant upon husband’s fixed income, so the goal is to protect the ill spouse’s income. Prior to Czepiga Daly Pope and Perri’s favorable Connecticut Supreme Court decision last month, the state would, at most, allow the wife to keep $1,800 of the husband’s income to give her the maximum monthly income amount the state would allow of $3,000. The wife’s income plummets from $6,200/month to the $3,000/month cap and she may very well not be able to afford to stay in her home any longer.

As a result of the Connecticut Supreme Court decision, for married couples who intend to apply for Medicaid benefits, it is now possible for the healthy spouse to keep as much income as is needed to remain safely in the community, even if means keeping more than the State’s $3,000/month cap or even keeping the entire $6,200/month of income.

It’s all about timing

To take advantage of this income protection strategy for the healthy spouse, timing is of utmost importance. And it is necessary to establish a conservatorship (even a voluntary one) over the ill spouse ahead of time. Embarking on this strategy is something that should only be done with the assistance of a qualified attorney.

If  you are a professional and would like an in-service on this income protection strategy, give Czepiga Daly Pope & Perri a call. If you or a loved will be needing to apply for Medicaid benefits now or at some point in the future,Czepiga Daly Pope & Perri today. They’ll work hard to protect what you’ve work hard for.

GTL’s Short-Term Home Health Care Insurance

Feb. 20th 2018

GTL’s short-term home health care insurance is more affordable than most other plan of care policies and it pays benefits directly to you, regardless of any other insurance you have.

Here are some quick facts:

  • $150, $300 or $450 maximum daily benefits.
  • Prescription benefit year maximum of $300 or $600
  • $40, $80, or $120 per-day home health care aide benefits
  • Policyholder access to Ask Mayo Clinic Nureseline and Critical Illness Support
  • Home health care benefits include: speech pathology, enterostomal therapy, respirational therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, chemotherapy specialist, medical social services, skilled nursing care (RN), and general nursing care (LPN/LVN)

Click here to view GTL’s Short-Term Home Health Care Insurance Infographic

5 Year Annuity Rate Has Increased from 3.1% to 3.25%

Jan. 10th 2018
Do you have a CD coming due? 
If so, we have a 5 year CD alternative offering 3.25% guaranteed interest growing tax deferred!
 
What is tax deferred?
Because annuities are classified as non-qualified retirement instruments, they receive a tax benefit in the form of tax deferral on earnings. Earnings are taxed as ordinary income upon withdrawal or annuitization.
 
With the income limits changing on the Medicare Savings Plan & Extra Help Programs, this may help you keep your income under the limits.   
 
You also have access to a portion of the money without a penalty!
 
Contact us today to get more information or sign-up for a CD alternative plan today!
 
Roberson Tierney and Associatiates
Phone: 860-379-6700

Medicare Savings Program Cuts Postponed

Jan. 4th 2018

Medicare Savings Plan Update (1/3/18)

State lawmakers have announced that they will be delaying implementation of Medicare Savings Program cuts until July 1, 2018. Governor Dan Malloy says he will further delay implementation of this cut during the current budget yet.

WTNH News Article – http://wtnh.com/2018/01/03/malloy-postpones-start-of-medicare-savings-program-cuts/

Posted by admin | in Important Dates, Medicare | No Comments »

Great News for United Health Care Medicare Advantage Customers

Jan. 3rd 2018

united health care

Yale New Haven Health will be in an in-network provider for the following United Health Care Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, starting January 1, 2018:

  • UnitedHealthcare MedicareComplete® Plan 1 (HMO) H0755-030
  • UnitedHealthcare MedicareComplete Plan 2 (HMO) H0755-031
  • UnitedHealthcare MedicareComplete Essential® (HMO) H0755-032
  • UnitedHealthcare MedicareComplete Plan 3 (HMO) H0755-033
  • AARP® MedicareComplete Choice® (Regional PPO) R7444-001

Health care is changing. Today, there are more treatment options and more ways to be well and stay healthy. Yale New Haven Health is making it easier for people to access the latest medical treatments, advanced research and innovations through our five outstanding hospitals – Yale New Haven, Bridgeport, Greenwich, Lawrence + Memorial and Westerly  – and our affiliation with the prestigious Yale University and its highly-ranked Yale School of Medicine*https://www.ynhhs.org/about.aspx

Additional Questions?
Contact Roberson Tierney and Associates
Phone: 860-379-6700

Posted by admin | in Medicare | No Comments »

Connecticut’s 2018 Medicare Savings Program (MSP) Income-Eligibility Changes

Dec. 6th 2017

As of December 6, 2017, the Department of Social Services has announced that it will review the changes to the Medicare Savings Programs.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: No changes have yet been made. The Medicare Savings Program is going into contract negotiations. We should know before March 1, 2018 the status of the program. If you end up losing benefits, our professionals at Roberson Tierney and Associates are here to help and re-evaluate your insurance needs.

 

Starting January 1, 2018, a new law in the state budget (section 50 of Public Act 17-2, June Special Session) will lower income limits for the Medicare Saving Programs (“MSP”).

 

There are three levels of MSP. All levels of MSP cover your Medicare Part B premium If you have the level known as Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (“QMB”), then your MSP benefit also covers the copays and deductibles for Medicare Part A hospital and Part B medical covered services. Currently, over 90% of Connecticut MSP recipients are at the QMB level. The chart below shows the income limits before and after January 1, 2018.

 

Use the chart below to see what level of MSP you may qualify for after January 1. Note that you may no longer qualify or you may move from your current level to another level of MSP, depending on your income and your spouse’s income if you are married. Income includes, but is not limited to: Social Security retirement or disability benefits, pension, and the money you earn from work. The money you earn from working is calculated differently from other income. The first $65 that you earn is not counted and then only half of the remaining earnings are counted when determining eligibility. For example, if you have $1,065 in work earnings, your countable earnings from work are $500 ($1,065 – $65 = $1,000 and $1,000 divided in half is $500).

 

Here are some key things you need to know:

 

  • They anticipate no loss of benefits to beneficiaries until after March 1, 2018. 
  • This delay means individuals applying for the first time or individuals who will be receiving redetermination notices will also be reviewed using the previous MSP income guidelines. DSS plans on sending a notice to beneficiaries that there has been a delay in implementation.
  • If you are working with individuals who enrolled into a Medigap policy because they anticipated a loss of QMB benefits, please let them know they should cancel this policy.   By law, they should not be sold a Medigap policy while they still have duplicative coverage of QMB. 
  • Please note that the new MSP income guidelines you have seen are based on the current federal poverty levels (FPL).  The new FPL guidelines are usually posted in February, which will mean the income guidelines for MSP will likely be different effective March 1, 2018.

 

We will keep you all informed as we get new information in.  As of right now, all coverage remains the same.  We are hopeful that our state representatives will come to a fair decision.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Roberson Tierney and Associates are here to help every step of the way.

 

You can also find additional informative material by visiting the State Department of Aging website.

 

SOURCE:

State Department on Aging; http://www.ct.gov/agingservices/cwp/view.asp?Q=599134&A=2513

Northwest Community Bank: Listen, Learn, Leave

Oct. 3rd 2017

Northwest Community Bank: Listen, Learn, Leave on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 is presenting topics on Social Security Planning, Medicare and Retirement Planning. They are offering two different sessions. Seating is limited. Please RSVP by Fri, Oct 13, 2017 by calling Susan Tycienski at Northwest Community Bank at 860-379-7561.

No Contract Signed by Anthem Blue Cross & Hartford Health Care

Oct. 1st 2017

ATTENTION: Anthem Blue Cross has not signed to renew contract with Hartford Health Care.

We are emailing to let you know that our office is aware of this update and want to ensure you that we are here to help you in any way we can. If you have an Anthem Blue Cross policy either for Medicare or otherwise (and see Hartford Health Care providers), please be aware of this important update and continue to read the e-mail below:

Last month we sent an email letting you know that Anthem Blue Cross was in contract negotiations with Hartford Hospital/ Hartford Health Care. In the past, Anthem has gone beyond the contract negotiation date on two separate occasions and both times they were resolved. We are hopeful that there will be a resolution, but in the meantime our office is here to assist you anyway we can and welcome you to reach out by calling 860-379-6700 ext 403 or 404.

Before we panic, we urge folks to wait until next week to see if there is a compromise in this negotiation process between Anthem and Hartford Hospital/Health Care. At that time, if we still have not heard of a resolution to the contract negotiations, we stand ready to assist you. Our office number is 860-379-6700 ext 403 or 404 and we will have all hands on deck to help in this matter.

Thanks for patience.

Sincerely,

Daphne Roberson
President, Roberson Tierney & Associates, LLC

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment: Oct 15 – Dec 7, 2017

Sep. 14th 2017

If you are a Medicare client of Roberson Tierney, would like to become one, or would like to refer someone that needs help with their Medicare choices, please read this e-mail.

If you are not a client of Roberson Tierney or are referring a client to Roberson Tierney, please have them call the office or attend one of the meetings!!!


Medicare Annual Open Enrollment

October 15th – December 7

It is that time of year again when Medicare Beneficiaries have the option to change their Medicare Advantage Plan or their Part D Prescription Drug plan & Medicare Supplement!!  We are here for you!

As your Insurance Advisor, I am happy to say that I am comfortable with the plans for 2018.  You will be receiving your ANNUAL NOTICE OF CHANGE from your Advantage plan or Part D Prescription Drug plan.  The first few pages of the booklet describe the changes in your plan.  There is a chart comparing your 2017 plan to the changes for 2018 including premium changes if any.

If you are comfortable with the plan changes:

1.     Complete the STAY SLIP & return it in the envelope provided.  We will notify the company that you are going to stay with your current plan for 2018.

If you are not comfortable with your plan or the changes:

2.      Complete the enclosed MEDICARE REVIEW FORM and return it to our office.  We will contact you to set up an appointment to discuss other options. This is important!!!

DO NOT COMPLETE BOTH


Daphne will be conducting meetings for United Health and Connecticare in addition to educational events.  Below is the schedule of meetings for United and Connecticare’s Medicare Advantage Plan Marketing Meetings & Medicare Made Clear educational events.  Feel free to join us!

United Health Care Medicare Advantage
Marketing Meeting

 Bristol Senior Center Room 109

October 3 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
October 6 – 10:00 am
October 10 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm- 2 Sessions
October 17 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
October 19 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
October 24 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
October 26 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
October 31 – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
November 3 – 10:00 am
November 7th & 9th – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
November 14th & 21st – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
November 28th – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions
December 5th – 10:00 am & 1:00 pm – 2 Sessions


MEDICARE MADE CLEAR
EDUCATIONAL EVENT

WINSTED SENIOR CENTER
80 HOLABIRD AVE
WINSTED, CT 06098

October 12th – 1:00 pm
November 16th – 10:30 am


CONNECTICARE MEDICARE
ADVANTAGE MARKETING MEETING

OASIS RESTAURANT
782 PINE STREET
BRISTOL, CT 06010

October 13, 2017 – 9:30 am
October 27, 2017 – 9:30 am


CONNECTICARE MEDICARE
ADVANTAGE MARKETING MEETING

HEALTH TRAX
842 CLARK AVENUE
BRISTOL, CT 06010

October 18, 2017 @ 10:00 am
November 1, 2017 @ 1:00 pm


MEDICARE MADE CLEAR & SOCIAL SECURITY PLANNING EDUCATIONAL EVENT

NEW HARTFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY
2 LIBRARY LANE
NEW HARTFORD, CT 06057

OCTOBER 18TH  – 12:30 pm & 6:00 pm
2 Sessions


MEDICARE MADE CLEAR EDUCATIONAL EVENT

BEARDSLEY LIBRARY
40 MUNRO PLACE
WINSTED, CT 06098

 SEPTEMBER 27, 2017 @ 4:00 PM


*** Educational Event Disclaimer: “This event is only for educational purposes and no plan-specific benefits or details will be shared.”

 

Daphne Roberson is licensed and certified to offer:
Medicare Advantage Plans:  Anthem/ Aetna / Connecticare / United Health Care / Wellcare
Prescription Drug Plans:  Silverscript, Envision, Anthem, AARP, Aetna, Symphonix, Humana, First Health, Coventry
Medicare Supplement Plans:  United American, AARP Medicare Supplement, Anthem Medicare Supplement, Cigna Medicare Supplement, Humana

IF YOU SIGN UP WITH ANOTHER INSURANCE AGENT YOU WILL NO LONGER BE A CLIENT OF ROBERSON TIERNEY!!!

Downloadable Docs:

Posted by admin | in Medicare, Prescription Drugs | No Comments »

“Observation” Hospitalization with Advantage Plus

Aug. 28th 2017

Take the Worry out of Observation Stays

Observation Status is a designation used by hospitals to bill Medicare. Unfortunately, it can hurt hospital patients who rely on Medicare for their health care coverage. People who receive care in hospitals, even overnight and for several days, may learn they have not actually been admitted as inpatients.

Federal law requires hospitals to alert Medicare patients after 24 hours of observation care.* Observation coding may leave patients with more out-of-pocket expenses than if they were admitted as inpatient. The good news is there’s a solution to help with this problem.

With Advantage Plus, “Observation” hospitalization stays of 12 hours or more are treated the same way as “Inpatient” stays!**

There are zero reduction of benefits and no Observation day limitation up to the policyholder’s benefit period!

REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT

Roberson Tierney and Associates

Call us at 860-379-6700

New Hartford Office – 2 Central Ave Suite 1A
Bristol Office – 210 Redstone Hill Rd
Posted by admin | in Medicare | No Comments »